I MET STEVEN

There is a mean ill tempered individual named Steven who Comments re this blog. Not a nice guy. Enjoys beating me up.

I was having dinner last night at the bar at Tavern ‘n Town. A man shows up. “I’m Steven.” “You’re Steven?” “Yes, I’m Steven.”

A few more words and I realized Steven was not the bad one.

Steven advised he has been reading my blog for years. Never commented, however. Enjoys the blog tremendously. He and his wife Sandy have a place on Sugarloaf. Their home Cape May, New Jersey.

I am familiar with Cape May. On the Jersey Shore. Visited many Cape May restaurants when a guest at Frank and Lois Paladino’s summer home in nearby Stone Harbor.

We had an enjoyable conversation. Steven and I are at different ends of the political spectrum. He likes Trump. No problem, we agreed. We could talk civilly.

He and the wife are returning to Cape May in five days. They came down to evaluate the Irma damage to their Sugarloaf home.

We agreed to get together when he returns in January.

I finished dinner and went to pay the bill. Steven had already paid it. Went over to thank him. Met Sandy. I  look forward to our January meeting. Dinner on me!

The evening was unique in a sense. I started at Aqua. Dueling Bartenders. Tom Luna and Rick Dery at their best.

Liz and friends at the bar. I sat next to Liz. I was pleased to see her out. She spent about 10 days recently in the hospital getting her life long diabetes under control.

Liz and friends left to have dinner at Mangoes. Invited me. I declined.

David was seated on the other side of me. Had him working on my cell phone. I lost my messages app. David a cellphone/computer guru. Like the children of today. He found the app. However could not place the icon on the screen for me. Told me to talk with Sloan.

I asked for my bill. No bill. Liz had picked up my bill. The evening was unique in the sense I paid neither my drinking nor dinner bills.

I can now afford to go our another evening this week.

Joking, of course..

Spent yesterday afternoon working on tonight’s podcast show. Interesting topics. Like reptiles in toilets, abortion and Congressman Tim Murphy, the government back in our bedrooms and sex lives, third Charlottesville confrontation since 8/12.

Also, Sally the Salad Bar Robot, post-Irma Key West recovery, Happy Birthday Afghanistan, Puerto Rico still without power, Trump and Venezuela, bankers legal thieves in the U.S., fish fall from the sky, and more.

A fast moving half hour. Some topics eye openers. All shared from my perspective, of course.

Join me. Nine my time. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Yesterday, Columbus Day. I wrote yesterday I  expected turmoil. Protesters who want the name of the day changed and Columbus statues removed.

Turns out protests were minimal. Not at all in many cities.

New York’s parade was its 73rd. Thirty five thousand marched. No demonstrations. A couple of incidents reported.

Denver was the place for the action. Denver is recognized as the birthplace of Columbus Day. Demonstrations described as peaceful. One hundred forty seven arrested, however.

Demonstrators showed up. Primarily Native Americans. They were asked by police if they wanted to be arrested. One hundred forty seven volunteered. The rest quietly watched the parade.

Native Americans want the label for the day to be changed from Columbus day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day, aka Native Americans Day.

They say Columbus brutalized and enslaved West Indians.

The chant of the Denver protests: Sitting Bull would be proud of us.

I’m missing something here. As I recall, Native Americans scalped, killed entire white families after torturing them (including rape of the women), and kept captured whites and Indians as slaves.

Native Americans who want a day Sitting Bull and their ancestors would be proud of should pick another date to honor their heritage. Leave mine alone. I am of Italian heritage. My mother and both sets of grandparents were born in Italy.

Curb debris continues to be a challenge. The debris of epic proportions.With all the removal so far, only 17-18 percent has been removed. It is estimated there were 400,000 cubic yards. Seventy thousand removed thus far.

There are many trucks involved in the removal. FEMA is sending four more. The removal a big time task!

I have to hustle. A test at the hospital at 12:30. The beginning of many tests. Primary purpose to determine why I am tired all the time. Close to exhaustion some time.

Enjoy your day!

 

KEY WEST CITIZEN FRONT PAGE HIGHLIGHTS POST IRMA PROBLEMS

A community the importance of Key West needs a daily newspaper. I repeat what I said a few days ago. I miss the Citizen! I miss reading it every day!

I am glad the Citizen has changed its mind and will return to daily publication October 7.

This weekend edition’s front page an excellent representation of problems confronting the lower Keys post Irma.

One involves the sad story of the Venture Out RV and Mobile Home Park. Horrific damage. Six hundred fifty nine units. Many ripped in two or with roofs completely blown off. All units suffering some damage. Seventy uninhabitable.

The Park is still without power. Electric wires down all over the place. Many units will have to be moved in order for work to the power structure to be done.

Day laborers unavailable to help.

Another article indicates that tempers are becoming frayed in some instances.

At the Wednesday meeting of the Monroe County Commission, debris was the major issue. Apparently Governor Scott and the FDOT decided to enter into lucrative contracts with major companies to remove debris. Many who have no experience with debris removal.

A local contractor who has a yearly contract with the County for debris removal is upset. The outside concerns are being paid more. Per his contract with the County, he cannot raise his prices.

He cannot compete with the bigger companies coming in. They pay more so additional workers are unavailable to him. He also cannot acquire additional trucks and other equipment because of cost. The bigger guys are buying/renting them up.

The article notes that debris hauling has become a statewide and national crisis.

Displaced boats a problem. Boats that have sunk totally or to some degree.

Satellite imagery indicates 1,300 displaced boats. They need to be removed. A danger to navigation and pollutants from leaking fuel  tanks.

Three hundred sixty-four have been assessed for removal so far. Only 3 removed.

I wish to compliment the Citizen also on its pictures reflecting damage caused by Irma. Right on. Rob O’Neal responsible for most. Excellent, as usual. His photos clearly and accurately show the damage and destruction.

My day yesterday was spent working on Irma and Me and watching the Syracuse/North Carolina State game. Syracuse lost 33-25.

Syracuse a come back team. They will win one of these close ones soon. Stupid errors were responsible for at least one touchdown and one three point kick. Not the first game the mistakes have occurred. Get rid of the slip ups and Syracuse will begin winning.

First the NFL, now the NBA re the National Anthem.

The NBA has a rule that requires players to stand during the playing of the National Anthem. What will the basketball players do? Interesting.

The issue has affected the NFL’s favorability rating. It was 30 percent 9/21. Seventeen percent 9/28.

Trump has crystallized the situation and made it into a problem. It should not have been one. The issue is freedom of speech/freedom of expression. Nothing else.

Many American banks and bankers are guilty of corrupt practices. They are like a teflon pan. Their wrongdoings slide off them.

My position since 2008 has been we should prosecute some bank CEO’s. Such would correct the problem.

Vietnam did.

Nguyen Xuan Son was the head of a major Vietnamese bank. He was charged with major mishandling of funds. Embezzlement, abuse of power, and economic mismanagement.

His bank lost 1.5 trillion Dong. $65 million American money.

Tried and convicted. He has been sentenced to death.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

 

PUERTO RICO…..WHY?

I do not understand.

Trump and the federal government performed well re Harvey, Irma, and Maria where ever required in the continental United States. Why has the government turned its back on Puerto Rico? Why is it failing Puerto Rico?

Trump motivated? I think so.

Something stinks re Puerto Rico and it is not the rotting seaweed and fish. It is Washington.

While Trump golfs this weekend in New Jersey, Puerto Ricans are suffering. Some dying. Many drink polluted water from creeks. Millions are without electricity. There is limited gas and cash. ATMs and credit card machines are not working. Cash is king. Few have neither cash nor the ability to get cash. Medicines unavailable. Few hospitals open.

Trump will shower, have food to eat, drink clean water, have a flushing toilet, enjoy air conditioning, have available to him whatever pills he takes, etc. No Puerto Rican will.

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz is mad as hell. Properly so. She claims the federal government is not doing its job. Trump retaliates by tweeting he questions her leadership ability. He claims the Puerto Ricans want everything done for them when it should be a community effort.

He tells us Puerto Rico is broke. Insinuating such might be a reason for failing to properly assist.

His responses do not make sense. Not from the person who is father to all American citizens.

Puerto Rico’s Governor Ricardo Rossello appears to lack back bone. Afraid to speak the truth to higher authority. From the beginning, he has been praising Trump and the help provided.

A picture is worth a thousand words. Television continues to show ruin and devastation. Trump is intimating and will probably say at some point that such is fake news. I expect no less.

Something is wrong. What specially, I cannot put my finger on. Are there those who will enjoy terrific financial gain down the road? Or, is it because Puerto Ricans are persons of color, tan?

I hope Trump as he plays golf this weekend puts three balls in the water and loses three in the woods. He deserves no better.

Sloan and I worked on Irma and Me again yesterday afternoon. The book is taking shape.

My first stop last night was the Chart Room. I was the only customer when I arrived at 5:30. Just John and me. Stayed that way for a while. By the time I left around 8, the place was packed. Surprisingly, most were tourists.

Met am interesting woman. Brenda. Slight, white haired and lovely.

Brenda just short of being a Conch. Her parents moved to Key West when she was 2. At some point, she left. Returned in 2000.

Brenda is a realtor affiliated with Old Town Realty.

Old Town Realty is located on the massive second floor of the enormous concrete building overlooking Dante’s. The same area where Prime One is located.

She waited out Irma in Old Town Realty’s offices with co-workers and friends. Brenda has experienced many Key West hurricanes. Never left. Even for one.

Then to Tavern ‘n Town for the late Happy Hour.

You would never know Irma had been by. The bar and most of the restaurant were packed. All seemed to be tourists.

The Key West cleanup is a massive undertaking. Debris on every street. On every side of every street. It is going to take time.

The smell is only a problem after a rainstorm. The sun comes out. The humidity sky rockets. The odor ugh!

The State screwed up with the cross walks when it redid North Roosevelt Boulevard. They are dangerous. Accident, injuries, and deaths were inevitable.

Sheriff Ramsey has led the fight to have the problem corrected. The State said yes. However, need 2 years to draft and another 2 to get the money.

John C. Potter died sunday morning. Age 81. He was pedaling his bicycle through the cross walk at Key Plaza. A car struck him.

Syracuse/North Carolina State at 12:20 today. I was going to watch at Jack Flats. Changed my mind. Will try to get it here at home. Syracuse a 14 point underdog.

Man of La Mancha. The Impossible Dream. Miguel de Cervantes magnificent book Don Quixote rewritten to become a famous Broadway musical and movie.

Cervantes was Spanish having been born September 29, 1547 in Madrid. His life adventurous on occasion.

At one point, he was captured by Barbary pirates and imprisoned in Algiers for 5 years. Historians believe he formulated the idea for Don Quixote while so imprisoned. Recall the long tall staircase leading to the dungeon.

Don Quixote the story of a mad knight. A penniless man striving to live by the ideals of the past.

I saw Man of La Mancha three times on Broadway. Each show with a different lead. The movie, many times.

Enjoy your day!

MARIA, MARIA, MARIA…..MAY MEET A GIRL NAMED MARIA…..THE NAME MAY NEVER BE THE SAME

The most beautiful sound I ever heard: Maria, Maria, Maria…..I’ve just met a girl named Maria /And suddenly that name / Will never be the same…..Maria!

The West Side Story’s music happy. Irma has not been. Now comes Maria. The song resonates. However, Maria may make us unhappy. As unhappy as Irma.

Maria on her way. A category 3 at the moment. On a path similar to Irma. Could come right over the Keys and Florida. Maybe not. Maria has a slight bend to the east.

Jose in between. The male meaningless. Expected to downgrade to a tropical storm. If it landfalls, probably the northeast coast of the United States.

For some, Keys’ living is a dream. Paradise. The reason they located here. Irma destroyed that dream for many. The Keys will recover. The time in between will be difficult.

As Irma approached, the issue for many was whether to stay. Significantly more left than stayed.

A woman who stayed regrets her decision. To those returning at this time, she suggests they do not: “To paraphrase Sheriff Ramsey, bring enough resources…..to last a week. If you can’t do that, then get back in your car and get the hell out. It’s not fun. We have no power. It’s hot. We’re rationing ice, and the water is brown out of the tap…..We wouldn’t stay again.”

My friend called me again this morning. Continues to be impressed with 801 and Bourbon Street. Air conditioning, ice and free food. Tells me the same person owns both establishments.

He recommended I not return yet. Very little power, no water, little gasoline, sewer problems continue, the smell/stench abominable, air thick with humidity, ATM machines covered, etc.

He told me I misspoke in yesterday’s blog re roadside debris. Could be seen all the way to Cudjoe Key, not Islamorada. From Cudjoe to Key West, merely bent trees.

US 1 opened for residents and business people all the way to Key West 7 this morning. Traffic heavy. Flat tires frequent.

US 1 has only one checkpoint. At Florida City.

Side roads apparently a problem. There are 21 side road checkpoints between Marathon and Key West due to unsafe conditions.

Someone reported on Facebook this morning 2 accidents already on US 1. One of the accidents a head on. One person dead. I have not been able to verify this information.

My admonition. Drive carefully. Do not speed. An extra half hour in getting to Key West will make no difference.

A personal calamity. Pisses me off.

I have a debit card with Bank of America. About four days before I left Key West to avoid Irma, I received a letter from Bank of America advising some one got into a series of card numbers. They were issuing new cards and I should receive one by the 14th. To use it when received. Ok to use old card in the meantime.

Hurrying to leave Key West, I gave the card no thought. Know I did not receive the new card as of the date I left.

Took Jean and Joe and my fellow evacuees to dinner last night. First time I have trued to use the card since 9/3. Card no good. The recorded wording something to the effect my number not registered with them. I tried every which way to get a human to speak with. No luck.

I had other cards to pay for the dinner.

Figured I would run over to a Bank of America tomorrow morning to get a temporary card. No Bank of Americas in Alabama.

I’m doing good!

I cannot talk to a human bank person till Monday morning during bank working hours on the phone.

I have a feeling I will be returning to Key West at some point this week without the card.

Suppose I needed the card? Suppose it was the only card I had? Suppose I was facing a 1,000 mile drive back to Key West without a card for gas and a motel one night?

In view of Irma, someone at the bank end should have made the decision to keep the old cards good at least till the end of the month. It had to be obvious not all would have received the new card before escaping Irma.

Robert and Ally’s dog Jake a Jack Terrier mix. Looks and acts like a Jack Terrier. Took a while, but we finally bonded.

Joanna is an evacuee staying with the Thornton’s, also. Johanna is a manager at the Audubon House. She has a Jack Terrier mix. Ralphie. Yesterday, I was sitting in a chair watching television and he jumped on my lap. Stayed. I rubbed his head, back and tummy of course.

Ralphie and I are bonded. He follows me around. Makes me play with him.

I live and learn. Teddy Roosevelt was fond of Jack Terriers. The White House had a rat problem. Jack Terriers are the natural enemy of rats. Roosevelt had several brought into the White House to live. It was the end of the rat problem.

Enjoy your Sunday!